West London club should seriously think about ending Thibaut Courtois’ loan spell in the Spanish capital this summer.
Highly-rated Belgium international Thibaut Courtois says that he is still being kept very much in the dark by Chelsea with regard where he will be playing next season.
SOURCE: The Metro
Chelsea have a difficult decision to make come the end of this season in terms of what to do with their Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is currently out on loan with high-flying La Liga outfit Atletico de Madrid.
The 20-year-old shot stopper has actually been a Chelsea player since signing for the West London club from Belgium first division side Genk in July 2011, although quite incredibly, in the intervening two years the player has still to make an appearance for the Blues.
That is due to the continued excellence between the sticks at Stamford Bridge of Czech Republic international No 1 Petr Cech who is clearly showing no signs of losing any of his outstanding reflexes in goal for the club. Monday’s world-class one-handed save to deny Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez from equalising in their FA Cup last-eight replay proved just that.
However, there must come a time sometime soon when the Champions League winners decide to go with the younger man. When that will be exactly is hard to tell, especially with Chelsea once again set to change their head coach at the end of the season. The fact that interim boss Rafa Benitez hasn’t received a great deal of support from the supporters rather muddies the waters in terms of next season’s plans.
Comparing the two keepers in turns of their stats and form this campaign might help. Cech is ten years older than his rival, aged 30, but that is still relatively young for a goalkeeper and he could have a further decade at the highest level.
Both players have contracts to remain at Stamford Bridge until June 2016, although of course Courtois’ current loan spell at the Vincente Calderon does run out this summer.
As for their form between the sticks this campaign, Courtois recently set a new Atletico record for the most amount of minutes, 820, without letting in a goal for the club at the Calderon, before Real Sociedad finally beat him in the Spanish capital earlier this month, while Cech has been his usual reliable self since overcoming what appeared to be a crisis of confidence after a calamitous UEFA Euro 2008.
Both players are fine goalkeepers with terrific reflexes, but if there is one thing Courtois could use work on, it is his distribution.
In La Liga this season, Courtois has a pass completion average of 44.2% – meaning that less than half of his passes find a team-mate. It is perhaps surprising that this has not been questioned more, especially with Cech solid in this department.
However, you get the feeling that Courtois may be getting itchy feet and Chelsea would be making a huge mistake if they passed up on the opportunity to make the giant Belgium their long-term No 1.
The Belgian has performed wonders for Atleti this season, and is a big reason they have a very real chance of finishing above city rivals Real Madrid this season.